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Award Honorees

William “Benny” McLean, Uncle Matt's Organic

2015 : Organic Farmer of the Year

Benny McLean, Organic Farmer of the Year, OTA

William “Benny” McLean converted his citrus operation to organic farming in 1999, growing such organic citrus varieties as Pummelos, red grapefruit, Valencias, red navels, and honey tangerines. He was the first certified organic citrus grower in Uncle Matt’s Organic farm plan, and operates as the production manager for Uncle Matt’s, overseeing all of the organic farming operations for the company.

He is responsible for converting close to 1,500 acres of citrus in Florida to organic, and assisted over 25 small family growers to convert to organic production. He has also worked with South Lake Hospital to develop a community organic garden, and continues to consult with the individual gardeners on organic growing methods. In addition he has assisted avocado, blueberry, blackberry and peach growers in Florida to convert to organic.

He has been actively involved in research to find a cure to citrus greening through grants to Uncle Matt’s and with his own resources. McLean is often sought out to share his knowledge on pesticide usage, nutrient density and organic methodology.

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